November Sephora Haul

Seeing that I had less than $100 to spend before reaching VIB status, I decided last month to finally check off some items from my wish list. Also with flash shipping, I really had nothing to lose. Here’s what I purchased.

 

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Clockwise from top left:

NUDESTIX Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Mini Set – I had received one of their matte pencils when I attended Generation Beauty in SF earlier this year. I liked how long it lasted, and the matte effect didn’t feel drying. All three shades in this set are neutral, so obviously it was something I had to own.

 

Sephora Collection Double-Ended Blemish Extractor – It’s about time I bought one of these. I’m guilty of the old use-two-fingers-to-extract method for black/whiteheads. Hopefully this tool will lessen the chances of irritation on my face.

 

Shiseido Facial Cotton – One of my top three choices for cotton pads. 10 bucks for 165 pieces may sound ridiculous to some, but the quality of these is almost incomparable to others I’ve tried. I did use another brand for a while, but I felt it was about time I treated myself to these again. Ya know, for old time’s sake. ūüėõ

 

Rahua Classic Shampoo (mini) – I placed this in the basket out of curiosity. According to the description, it uses 100% natural ingredients. Benefits from using this shampoo are to fortify weak/damaged hair, regenerate scalp and hair follicles, and promote moisture retention. After a few uses, I don’t plan on purchasing it again. Not too thrilled with the scent and it doesn’t get as sudsy compared to the other shampoos I currently use. I’m all for natural, but sadly not with this product.

 

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – I’m already a fan of this after previously receiving it in an Influenster box. I love using it when I double cleanse because it feels refreshing (thanks to the spearmint), and it leaves my face squeaky clean without feeling tight. I have yet to own this in full size. Maybe next time?

Sephora Winter Flush Blush Palette – I’ve been in great need of new shades of blush, so seeing this at under $20 was pretty much a steal. The shades are simply numbered 1 through 8. I think the shimmery ones are a little too small to gather up with a standard blush brush, so I think I’ll just use them as coordinating highlighters instead.

 

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – This is another Origins product that I’ve previously tried and loved. I use this every other week (although twice a week is what they suggest) to detox my pores. One of the user reviews on this mentioned it helps shrink large pimples, so I’ll consider using it as a spot treatment whenever one of those suckers decides to show up. Thankfully it doesn’t happen very often.

That’s it for my haul. I also purchased a few things not long after reaching VIB since they had their discount event (score). Do you have any of these items on your current wish list, or did you purchase any of them recently? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

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Coming Soon: Ulta 21 Days of Beauty

For you beauty lovers, that time of the year is just around the corner! Ulta will be having their 21 Days of Beauty event beginning this Sunday Sept. 3rd. Each day, select products are offered in store and online for 50% off ¬†(unless specified). After checking out their selection, I’m actually not going to participate this time. *gasp* Shocking, right? The only item that even slightly grabbed my interest was the UD Flushed palette. Not that I need it, so I’m fine with passing it up.

Check out what they’ll be offering throughout the event on their website.

Do you plan on purchasing anything during 21 Days of Beauty? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Lip Product Storage

I’m in the process of rearranging my lip products, particularly lip glosses and lipstick (any form), and I’m curious to see how my fellow bloggers/readers do this. I currently have them spread out between a few acrylic organizers, and a few accumulated in one of my dresser drawers. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Note: To clarify, I’m referring to “packaging” as the box/container that the item originally comes in when you purchase it. Hope that helps.

Origins VoxBox and My Perfect World Event

Last month, I received the opportunity to attend the VIP Origins A Perfect World Launch Party in San Francisco. I also received samples of their best selling items to try for free, compliments of Influenster.

 

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What’s inside:

High Potency Night-a mins – An overnight renewal cream that boosts skin’s radiance.

Ginzing Moisturizer – Light weight and oil free, this is said to instantly hydrate and increase radiance.

Ginzing Eye Cream – This refreshing eye cream brightens, de-puffs, and reduces dark circles.¬†Already a fan because I’ve received a sample of this in the past. Love it!

Clear Improvement Purifying Charcoal Mask – The formula of this mask is made to clear pores and dissolve impurities. Used this on my forehead and it felt smoother the next day.

Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash – A gentle cleanser for all skin types.

So far I’ve only used 2 of the 5 products with the box, but I’m content that the remainder won’t disappoint.

The ¬†My Perfect World Event was held at the Origins location at Westfield San Francisco Centre. Mini facials and a tea leaf reader where on hand for attendees (mainly by appointment, which I unfortunately wasn’t able to make). They also had refreshments and the A Perfect World line available to test out and purchase.

The line is formulated to help “defend body skin against environmental aggressors” and all the products contain antioxidants and White Tea. I took a sample of the Intensely Hydrating Body Cream because it smelled amazing.¬†Other products to note are their Age- Defense Moisturizer (with SPF 40) and Age-Defense Eye Cream (with SPF 20), which are the company’s products with the highest SPF levels to date.

 

The line ranges in price from $24.50 to $44.00 (USD). Will you be checking this out? If you’re a fan of Origins, I’d love to know what your favorite product(s) are from the brand.

Saving Face with Curology

For most of my young adult life, I’ve suffered from mild bouts of acne. Much of my breakouts would occur during “that time of the month”. Darn hormones! Late last year, my chin broke out the most, and it took longer than usual for that area to clear up. By then I figured it was time to look into something other than an over the counter regimen. I’ve tried out a few things in the past; some worked and others not so much. Then I saw a person I followed on Instagram post about Curology. They had a similar issue to what I had with acne, so being the curious person I usually am, I checked out the site.

How does Curology work?

There are a few steps to take prior to being introduced to the product:

  1. Take a medical questionnaire. Results of this will be sent to a healthcare provider who you will be able to communicate with during the course of your treatment.
  2. Upload photos of your face for your provider to examine. Based on your answers in the questionnaire, your your provider¬†will prescribe your treatment. Once it’s confirmed, your product will ship.

Your treatment can be changed at any time. Just request another consultation with your provider. Formulations usually include 3 out of the following ingredients:

  • Clyndamycin
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Trentinoin (strength level will be determined by your provider)
  • Niacinamide
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc Pyrithione

 

Plans start at $19.99/month and your treatment can either be received monthly or every 2 months. The bottle sizes differ depending on the plan you choose.

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L-R : Bi-monthly sized bottle (30ml) vs monthly sized bottle (14ml)

 

Love the simple packaging. Although I would stress to watch out with handling the cover because it tends to crack easily if you’re careless with it. The bottles are shipped with instructions on how to use the product. They are also labeled in the back with your customized prescription and an expiration date.

 

 

This has worked very well for my face within the past 8 months. However, I do have to confess that I’ve been inconsistent with it. Surely my face would probably look even better than it does now if I used it regularly.

 

I took the before photo in my bathroom and the current one outside. I’m bare faced in both with the exception of the lip color for the right. The lighting is drastically different between the 2, but it’s still easy to see that my chin has cleared up nicely.

If you’re interested in checking out Curology, you can do so by clicking here¬†for a free trial. The process involves the same steps as mentioned above, except you only have to pay shipping for a month’s supply of product. After that, you can either cancel or continue treatment with the plan of your choice. I’d love to extend this invite to others outside of the US, but unfortunately they do not ship internationally. They are considering an expansion, so you’ll definitely hear from me if/when that happens.

Target Beauty Box – Hello Hydration

I had no plans on purchasing another one of these boxes any time soon. But when I saw that this was available last month for $7 (originally $10), I gave in.¬†This box featured hair and skin care products to help “kick the winter blahs”. Yes, we’re already into Spring, but I’m still feeling the after effects of the previous season, especially with the weird weather that’s still lingering here in the Bay Area. Let’s check out what I received (prices listed for these products are for their full size in USD).

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Gliss Ultimate Repair Shampoo & Conditioner ($5.49 each) – ¬†The keratin formula claims to restore hair’s strength while also preventing future damage. I’ve only used this once since getting my hair straightened a few weeks ago. So far the scent isn’t bad, although it could be a tad lighter. My ends are already dry as is, but this might prove to be more beneficial after I have a trim.

 

L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Masks ($9.99) – Although I’m not an avid face mask user, I’ve been curious about these. Glad I’m able to sample all 3 of them. Hopefully I’ll like at least 1 so I can purchase it in full size. The masks contain 3 pure clays and come in 3 types:

Purify & Mattify w/ Eucalyptus

Detox & Brighten w/ Charcoal

Exfoliate & Refine Pores w/ Red Algae

 

Masque Bar Hydrating Face Mask – I’ve mentioned previously that I’m not the type to use a mask regularly, but this one I’m willing to try. I do love a good peel-off mask! Formulated with aloe, collagen, and vitamin E, it hydrates skin resulting in a youthful glow.

 

Raw Sugar Coconut & Mango Body Wash – This smells like being on a tropical vacation, but not overpoweringly so. Still have yet to use it.

 

Soap and Glory Face Soap & Clarity Face Wash – This 3-in-1 cleanser with yuzu claims to “purify, smooth and brighten skin”. It has a light, clean scent and my face felt nice after using it.

 

Sun Bum Sunless Self-Tanning Towelette – I already know this is going to be used on my legs because they are the one part of my body that does not tan. Why is that?! Fingers crossed that this doesn’t turn them orange.

 

W3LL People Expressionist Mini Mascara – The botanical blend nourishes lashes and is also 100% cruelty, coal tar, and aluminum free. I wanted to like this since it wasn’t clumpy when I applied it. Unfortunately, after checking myself in the mirror following the event that I attended that evening, it was a bit of a smudge fest under my eyes (boo).

 

I’m pretty satisfied with more than half of I received, so I feel that it was worth the investment. I have another Target box on the way, so I’ll review that hopefully by the end of the month. Did you happen to get the Hello Hydration box? Let me know what you think of it.

Influenster’s Rosy VoxBox

The Rosy VoxBox from Influenster came with 5 beauty and self-care products. These were sent to me compliments of Influenster to try and review. Here are my thoughts on what I received. Suggested retail prices for these items are listed in USD.

Fancy Feet Ball of Foot Cushions ($5.49)  – Ever had a moment when your toes started feeling squished from your feet sliding forward in your shoes? These cushions were made to prevent that from happening. They also allow for shock absorption and are made of a breathable, antimicrobial material. I have no immediate plans to use these just yet, but I might bring them along on my trip next month just in case I need them.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray ($7.00 full size, $3.00 travel size) – As a fan of the NYM brand, I was curious to see how this would work on my hair. It has a tropical banana scent, which was thankfully subtle. I sprayed this in my hair before putting it up in a bun. When I let it down later in the day, I had nice loose waves. The spray wasn’t sticky and didn’t leave my hair stiff. All NYM products are formulated free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and gluten.

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals ($1.59 – $1.79 for 2 oz.) – I’m one of those people who needs to have sanitizer with me, especially when I’m out and about. This contains 93% naturally derived ingredients and natural fragrance thanks to essential oils. It’s nice to keep the germs away while not being paranoid about what you’re using to do it.

 

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant ($7.99) – I’ve tried this deodorant years ago, but I don’t remember how it performed. It’s possible this version has been re-formulated since then. I applied this prior to an intense workout and it was pretty effective. Of course a bit of sweat was evident in my underarm area, but no signs of BO.

Vera Wang Embrace ($29.99) – I received sample sizes of this fragrance in 2 scents: Marigold and Gardenia and Rose Buds and Vanilla. The first is a fruity floral that includes notes of melon and soft musk. The second is a floral oriental including notes of mandarin oil and sweet magnolia. I loved the latter the most since it was surprisingly light. The first one was nice, but I’m not the biggest fan of “warm” fragrances. Usually anything with the scent of rose in it tends to come off a bit strong, but not with this fragrance. I used it prior to an event I attended, but sadly I had no idea that the container broke and the remaining contents of it spilled in my purse. That alone further proved how (not-so) intense the scent was. I was a bit sad to throw it out, but the inside of my purse smelled nice. I  even aired it out for a day, which wasn’t really necessary. Despite that unfortunate event, I plan on purchasing Rose Buds and Vanilla in its full size.

 

I loved everything from this Vox Box and hope to receive another one again from Influenster in the near future. If you’re active on social media and are interested in trying out free products in exchange for honest reviews, you can sign up on Influenster’s website.